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Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2021

photo credits @ KB

Mathieu Van der Poel looked poised to claim victory in this years’ Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne as he forced his way into the breakaway, then valiantly tried to hold off a swelling chase. But the five-man break was swallowed up inside the final two kilometers, allowing Mads Pedersen to win a bunch sprint and Britain’s Tom Pidcock to finish on the podium.

Indeed, Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) swooped in to win the One-Day Classic in a bunch sprint after a heroic five-man breakaway fronted by Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) was denied, Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) finished on the podium in third, behind Pedersen and Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie).

Race Highlights

The day began with a six-man breakaway, containing Maciej Bodnar and Patrick Gamper (Bora-Hansgrohe), Ludwig De Winter (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Artyom Zakharov (Astana-Premier Tech), Tom Paquot (Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles) and Jonas Hvideberg (Uno).

However, Van der Poel launched clear of the peloton, later bridging his way to the leaders, taking Jhonatan Narvaez (Ineos Grenadiers) along with him. 

On the slopes of the Kluisberg, Van der Poel forged on and the breakaway was reformed, with only Hvideberg, Gampert and Zakharov remaining of the original six.

From there, the mighty Mathie marshalled his troops, taking some enormous pulls in the process, spurring his four companions on toward the finish line. It was only when the flamme rouge loomed that their efforts were eventually undone by a massive injection of pace from Greg van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën) to close the gap between groups one and two on the road

From there, the sprint that had always been expected played out, albeit with different protagonists in the leading roles. The purer sprinters like Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck Quick-Step) had been unable to hang with the frenetic pace of the day’s racing and so it was a true classicist who emerged with the win.

Pedersen was able to capitalise on an early opening up of the sprint from youngster Pidcock, riding only his second ever classic. With the Yorkshireman putting his nose in the wind just a second or two too soon, he found himself unable to get round the hulking form of Pedersen as the Dane thundered towards the line.

From there, Van Der Poel marshaled his troops, taking some enormous pulls in the process, spurring his four companions on toward the finish line. It was only when the flamme rouge loomed that their efforts were eventually undone by a massive injection of pace from Greg van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën) to close the gap between groups one and two on the road.

Pedersen was able to capitalize on an early opening up of the sprint from Pidcock, riding only his second ever classic. With the British rider putting his nose in the wind a moment too soon, he found himself unable to get round Pedersen as the Dane thundered toward the line.

 

 

 

 

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